2020-B4-4

Author Topic: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project  (Read 67591 times)

cyber104

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 800
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #560 on: February 28, 2020, 06:45:58 AM »
Tom - I would be interested in those seats - I'm near Charlotte NC - wonder if we could meet up on your way back north?

BTW - I worked for QVC in West Chester for 10 years before we moved down here........
1978 TA 4-Speed W72

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #561 on: February 28, 2020, 08:33:07 AM »
Tom, do you have Rocky Rotellas book on the firebird? Now is a good time to get caught up on reading. I am obsessed with trans ams and old cars in general. To a point that my family calls me 'ridiculous' in that I have a one track mind. I pass the idle time away reading my Hemmings magazines, and firebird books. Hang in there, you will make it, LOL.
Kevin, my grandmothers family is from the Roanoke area, last time I was there I was on a motorcycle trip to Nashville, we had to stop in Roanoke to get a new tire on my bike. It was raining so hard that the water on the streets was literally up to the running boards (foot pegs). To date I believe that was the worst rain I have ever been in!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

sensei451

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #562 on: February 28, 2020, 12:31:56 PM »
BTW - I worked for QVC in West Chester for 10 years before we moved down here........

Hey, isn't that commodores old location? Are there any proof of previous activities in those premises? Just curious as a commodore-guy.

cyber104

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 800
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #563 on: February 29, 2020, 07:56:11 AM »
BTW - I worked for QVC in West Chester for 10 years before we moved down here........

Hey, isn't that commodores old location? Are there any proof of previous activities in those premises? Just curious as a commodore-guy.

Yes it was - now that was a trip in the "Way Back" machine lol
1978 TA 4-Speed W72

cyber104

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 800
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #564 on: February 29, 2020, 07:58:36 AM »
BTW - I worked for QVC in West Chester for 10 years before we moved down here........

Hey, isn't that commodores old location? Are there any proof of previous activities in those premises? Just curious as a commodore-guy.

Yes it was - that's truth - now that was a trip in the "Way Back" machine lol - now I need to go program my Atari 800.............

Actually I'm still in IT - just on IBM Mainframes
1978 TA 4-Speed W72

76455sd

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2867
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #565 on: February 29, 2020, 10:10:29 AM »


One last thing...
I know I said I wasn't gonna do this, but I can't resist...I can't get enough!
 Here's a video of the car after the Cut and Buff (By 'Luxe Detailing' in Mt. Juliet TN):

https://www.facebook.com/classicautopaint/videos/506756116903431/
[/quote]

Paint looks great.  What are the “Pontiac emblem” cutouts on the rear quarters?  Are you adding 68 GTO side marker lights?
Steve D
'76 LE 455/4speed/solid roof - SOLD
'02 WS6 T/A convertible

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #566 on: February 29, 2020, 03:37:37 PM »
I thought you guys were talking about the r & b band!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Nexus

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1173
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #567 on: February 29, 2020, 03:44:20 PM »
Holy cow that looks amazing. I love the colour combo you've done...wow

I'm excited for you Tom

Awesome stuff
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #568 on: February 29, 2020, 09:25:07 PM »
Thanks everyone...a kid at Christmas is a good analogy. I wish I could get on the road like now!

Roadking, I do have Rocky R.'s book.  I think some reading might be a good past-time I'm actually going to take you up on that suggestion.

Cyber104,
 Regarding the seats.  I'd be willing to work with you on 'em.  If all goes as planned we'd probably be closest to Charlotte around
mid-Morning on Monday.  Around the I-40 -> I-81 split East of Knoxville.  Towing the TA, I wouldn't want to go much out of the way of the direct route. It seems like that'd be a long trip for you?   

76455 (sounds like a bad-ass car BTW!)
  Those cut-outs are for '68 Firebird marker lights.  Which are probably the same as they were on the GTO's.  There's a pic of them on a prior page, but starting a new page seems like a good excuse for me to look at the pics for the 100th time...You know...Just 'cause you asked about them...

IMG_2079 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

IMG_2078 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Thanks for checking in!

6 Days!

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #569 on: March 03, 2020, 10:22:26 PM »
A little excitement this morning to wake up to news that a severe tornado had rolled through Mt. Juliet. 
That town has been a little like a home away from home for me this past year.  Thankfully family and friends in the area are unscathed.  Prayers to the families in Mt. Juliet and across middle TN who were not so lucky.  God bless. 

Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #569 on: March 03, 2020, 10:22:26 PM »

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #570 on: March 04, 2020, 06:00:16 AM »
Glad to hear things were ok for your family and friends there. You were the first person I thought of when I heard the news. Many were not so lucky and the devastation there looks to be beyond belief!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Nexus

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1173
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #571 on: March 04, 2020, 03:17:39 PM »
WOW, seems early for tornados

glad they are ok though
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #572 on: March 05, 2020, 10:01:55 PM »
All set!
Truck is packed...
IMG_2116 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I made a set of cribs for Chris as a small token of my appreciation.  The driver seat is going down because the seat that's in there can't be bolted down easily and I don't want to pull it up and off the trailer without a sturdy seat.  The other stuff is mostly tools and stuff 'cause we plan on spending some time getting the new 383 in Chris' '81 Corvette buttoned up and (hopefully) fired this weekend. 

All the stuff for the interior is organized and ready to go. 
IMG_2110 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

 The headliner board is in that tall box.  That's' the last thing we need to assemble or otherwise get together for the interior.
The big box is all the interior hard plastics.   Here's a tip...To keep rodents from trying to get into the interior stuff while it's sitting around packed up...
IMG_2115 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

...Seems to have worked better than we thought. No evidence of mice having gotten inside.

Finally, I re-reorganized stuff so the car will actually fit in the garage when we get home Tuesday...
IMG_2117 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

1 more day!

Thanks for checking in.

-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #573 on: March 06, 2020, 01:48:24 PM »
Good luck with your trip. I will have to try that trick with the squirrels around my house. I hope they read English!
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4823
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #574 on: March 09, 2020, 06:16:37 AM »
It's been 4 days since your last post... Is this thing done yet?? :lol:

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #574 on: March 09, 2020, 06:16:37 AM »


2020-B1-8


roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #575 on: March 09, 2020, 07:18:45 AM »
Yea, we have been patient, now its time to get to business! LOL
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Nexus

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1173
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #576 on: March 09, 2020, 09:18:20 PM »
HMMM...ignoring us now...what is going on...I'm so curious...lol
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #577 on: March 09, 2020, 09:22:57 PM »
I know right?!  4 days was a bit too long to keep you guys in suspense.  My apologies.  I took the laptop with me but didn't get a chance to touch it over the weekend.  Traveling Friday and Monday we only had two days to work. In addition to getting the TA together, part of the plan was for us to get the new motor in Chris's '81 Corvette fired up. He had dropped in a new 383 and 700R4 last month. We wanted to help him get it plumbed, wired and fired.   Saturday and Sunday were a thrash.   We were beat when we got back to the hotel each night. 
But we did accomplish both goals, and as always had a good time hanging out with Chris.

So.....Here you go...
First pics with the wheels and tires mounted!



3-IMG_1406(1) by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

For the record the wheels are 17x9 OER Snowflakes with 5-1/8 backspace. Tires are Nitto NT555 G2 255/50R17 Front 275/50r17 Rear.

The rear looks a little higher in that pic than it does in person. 
The stance is pretty much exactly what I was shooting for...No visual 'droop' in the rear, but not jacked up. 
A little bit of staggered look...Bigger rear tire than front, but not a fat/skinny drag look

These pics down the side show the wheels and tire fit a little better...

1-IMG_2182 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

2-IMG_1412(1) by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I don't think I could be happier.  I'm sure I'm biased, but I think this is one of the most beautiful TA's I've ever seen!.  The rims just 'pop' in person...Taking the markers out of the front-end exaggerates the long front/short deck shape of the car...The arrowhead markers look they were made to fit there...The decals can't be missed...but don't 'jump out' at you...The tightened body lines put a nice cut through the door.
It's better than I envisioned!

On top of all of that...The TA and Julie's Durango make a killer couple!
IMG_2193 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

 We had a great drive home today. But, it was long and nerve wracking at times...
So, all I can muster tonight are these pics and the related gushing dump of how I felt finally seeing the big exterior picture in person. 

We a really are in the home stretch now. A few more weeks of work, some details to tidy up, and we'll be able to sit back and enjoy using and sharing this beautiful machine we've put together.  Woo Hoo!

Thanks guys.
Take care.
 

« Last Edit: March 09, 2020, 09:37:56 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Nexus

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1173
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #578 on: March 09, 2020, 09:59:29 PM »
WOW

I'm in love with it!!!!!!!

That looks amazing!!
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

b_hill_86

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 519
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #579 on: March 09, 2020, 10:03:26 PM »
Wooo. That T/A looks like glass. I hate my black car but when it’s clean, you can’t beat it.  Can’t help notice that Durango (or as my wife affectionately calls it, the dingo) too.
-Brian-

1977 Trans Am 400 4 speed

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #579 on: March 09, 2020, 10:03:26 PM »

737driver

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1821
  • "Life is hard, It's Harder when you're Stupid.."
      • My Trans Am - Restoration Project
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #580 on: March 10, 2020, 01:35:11 AM »
Those rims look great on such a great looking car! Really looking forward to seeing you complete it and driving it on a regular basis. There is no doubt you will get a lot of attention when driving it!
Jim
1979 Trans Am- Heritage Brown -W72 (Pontiac 400) -4Speed-WS6
1972 LeMans Convertible
1977 Trans Am
1972 Firebird
1971 Firebird
1970 Firebird
1977 MGB  Roadster Convertible

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3842
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #581 on: March 10, 2020, 04:37:57 AM »
Wow! What beautiful car. That looks amazing! The wheels and tires,  it just the complete package.  Great work.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

ryeguy2006a

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4823
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #582 on: March 10, 2020, 06:06:34 AM »
Wow, that car looks so good Tom! You are right, there isn't much more before you can just get in it and enjoy.

1976 Trans Am LS1, 6 speed, C5 Brakes, LS1 rear 12" brakes, and much more...SOLD
My Build: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=24465.0

New project: 1968 Camaro LS6, T56, Speedtech, Hotchkis, DSE, Z51 13.4" front brakes, LS1 rear disks, etc.
http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=74591.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #583 on: March 10, 2020, 07:40:37 AM »
Im speechless Tom, cant wait to see it in person. No disrespect to your or Julie because I know you both put in your share of elbow grease, but your brother Chris did an amazing job. He def. has something to be proud of with that project. Your car should be the poster child for his business! Its definitely an attention grabber. AND, it looks like you need to upgrade the wheels on the Durango to something red.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #584 on: March 10, 2020, 10:52:20 PM »
Thanks everyone!
 No offense taken Roadking!   Having a family member in the business, and having seen some of the efforts that some of people here have put into their Body and Paint, I knew it was a lot of work. It takes a special skill-set and (at least) some propensity of natural ability for those skills.   BUT...Having seen the process in such detail from beginning to end, including an accounting of every supply involved...I have a new appreciation for the people and businesses that put out quality 'custom' jobs like this one.   
Really good body and paint work is expensive for a reason.   I'm lucky to have a talented family member with the skills and facilities to put together such a great looking car.  It still cost several thousands of dollars.

Plan on the body and paint being the biggest expense.  When you find a good shop, understand It's hard physical work by talented people. And the cost reflects that, pay it happily.  It can make or break a project.  And, when a place like Classic Auto Painting in Mt. Juliet TN nails it like they did for me it's an amazing feeling to see the picture you've had in your mind exceeded.  It's been a few days now and I still get a huge smile every time I catch a glimpse!

That's pretty much it for now. I was just checking in to make sure others were seeing what I'm seeing.  Thanks for the compliments guys.

 The car is safe and sound in the garage tonight (left it on the trailer last night).  And the white board in the garage is once again full of 'to-do' items. I'm excited to get back at it!

Take care.
-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

FormTA

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3842
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #585 on: March 11, 2020, 04:52:58 AM »
Yes, paintwork is expensive and you didn't have any major rust repair or panel replacement needed and it still cost thousands.
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

Names, Luke. If I hear anyone telling me they're my father....

sensei451

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #586 on: March 11, 2020, 08:28:01 AM »
I think your color choices with the decals and rims are coming together perfectly, congratulations. Nice durango!

DeVilliers

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 315
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #587 on: March 12, 2020, 05:15:16 AM »
I'm finally caught up with your restoration! WOW!! It looks awesome!

I picked up a few tips from your project. Especially those inexpensive JB weld and fibreglass fixes.

I'm glad you got the front clip sorted. That has been a thorn in my side for a long time, so I know the struggle with getting the cracks sorted.
1979 Trans Am

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #588 on: March 14, 2020, 11:13:47 PM »
Thanks again for the complements everyone.

 The last couple hours of garage time have been mostly about figuring out what needs to be done to finish things up and coming up with a plan to get things done in an appropriate order.  It looks so close, but there's still a lot to do...
   
  Top of the list is to get the Dakota Digital Tach sender unit moved.  I had mounted it near the speedo cable box on the cowl behind the inner fender on the driver side.  I had been warned that the tach signal and speed signal wires can interfere with each-other. Originally the wires ran together all the way across the firewall inside the engine bay.  I relocated the tach wire to inside the cabin earlier on,  but still had the boxes next to one another.  The speedo seemed to get a little wonky at times. So, I'm hoping moving the tach box further away will correct that condition.
  Also on the list:
   -Install new Vintage Air controls - The original set appears to have failed.  VA tech worked with me on the phone, then sent a
    replacement set of controls last year right before the car went down to TN.  I'm  impressed with Vintage Air's support.  I bought the kit 3
    or 4 years ago, but when I explained the timeline of the project, and that the controls only had a few hours on them they replaced them
    no problem.

   -Windows - A year's worth of body shop dust collected in the nice fresh lithium grease I had installed in the window tracks.  When we
     picked the car up we put the windows up for the first time in 11 months and there was a terrible grinding nice. Like the tracks were
     made of sand paper.  I pulled the windows and tracks out today to clean them. Now I'm thinking I'll probably wait to get new glass
     before putting it all back together.  I had hoped to wait on new side glass for budge reasons, but my old glass is in pretty bad shape.
     I'd rather not open the doors up again once it's all together so I think I'll bite the bullet on new side glass sooner rather than later.

    -Replace Amp -  My stereo was working OK when I dropped the car off, but I checked it out last night and it sounds like maybe the amp
     is hosed.  It's mid-level Rockford Fosgate unit.  Nothing fancy, but this is the second one that has 'gone' on me.  I suspect maybe
     welding done on the trunk panel, in close proximity to the amp (under the package shelf) maybe hosed this one up?  I can't think of any
     other reason for it to go, unless I happened to get two defective amplifiers?  Anyway, I happen to have the original amp (now repaired
     under warranty).  I was going to use it for a Sub, but now that sub install will have to wait and I'll swap them out to see if that corrects
     the awful, terrible sound being emitted by the stereo right now.  It sounds like sh*t.

     -Squeaky Idler pulley - Another new issue since the car came home.  The idler pulley on the AC bracket is squeaking terribly.  I suspect
      this might be another side effect of leaving the car in a working body shop for almost a year. I'll pull it off and clean it up and see if
      I can get some lube in there.

      -Parking brake cable - Another thing I planned on waiting on for budget reasons.  The 'full' cable assembly, front to back costs
       a couple hundred bucks.  But, I sorta need the front section (pedal to exit under driver's seat) in order to final install the kick panel
       and carpet.  So, I ordered the front section (35.00) and I'll install the rest later.

       -Headlight bezel stand-off's -  A couple of the stand-offs for the headlight bezels came off while the nose was being worked on.  These
        were a PIA to install with the headlight panel off the car, so I'm not looking forward to getting them back in there with the nose
        cover installed.
 
        -Tail lights - I had planned on installing new tail light lenses, but with the budget adjustments noted above, I'll have to use the old
         'refurbished' tail light lenses for now.  They need to be cleaned up and installed.
   
        -Adjust/Align rear spoiler - It was just rough installed for the trip home
        -Clean paint driver side floor -  There were a couple rust spots repaired down in TN.  Need to clean and paint to prep the floor for...
        -Dynomat  Driver side floor area
        - Re-dye Driver side kick panel (got knicked up probably during the driver side floor repairs)
        -Install Windshield and rear window trim
        -Install T-Top/door seals
        -Install Trunk seal
        -Assemble headliner

       Once all -that- stuff is done I can install the interior. 
     I apologize, this quick update ended up being an exercise for me to brain dump my to-do list.   At any rate, I registered for our first
    local car show April 25th.  So, that's my new goal/target date.  Meanwhile, spring's coming and my yard needs to be raked and cleaned
    up!   
    I should've probably used this time out in the garage instead.

Thanks for checking in. 
Take care.
 -Tom





       
       
     
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #589 on: March 16, 2020, 07:34:37 AM »
The list never ends.... Its good that VA is standing behind their product. I had a bad master cylinder from the right stuff and like most resto projects it was a couple of years old before being used and figuring out it was bad. They told me SOL, I ended up with one from NAPA and they lost a customer.
I think now is as good as time as ever to put in new glass, that is one thing that makes the diff between a good job and a really good job. They really are not that expensive in the grand scheme.
What is the April show? Send me info if you dont mind, hopefully things will be back to a bit of normal by then.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #589 on: March 16, 2020, 07:34:37 AM »

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #590 on: March 23, 2020, 10:33:52 PM »
Vintage Air has been awesome.  The controller is the second thing they replaced for me long after I purchased their kit.  I had ordered the kit with a Corvette LS1 compressor bracket.  2 years later I ended up with an F-Body LS1.  They replaced that bracket for me too...No problem.  They've been really really good.

Our 'coming out' car show was going to be April 25th at the King of Prussia Mall.  That show has been moved to September.   Whenever the car shows pick back up we'll be ready I think.

The list does feel endless.  Over the last week or so each night I've scratched couple things off the board.  Then, added a couple more on in their place. 
10-IMG_2234 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Things are getting done though.  Most of the stuff is mundane, but I did come up with a couple interesting things to share.  But first, the mundane...

Headlights and Trim rings are installed...
02-IMG_2242 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I'm happy with how they look.  Because of a few different repaints by PO's, we spent way more time than I expected cleaning them up and painting them a couple years back. It really was special to open that box they'd been packed in for a couple years now.
Erased "Install Headlights" from the board...added "Adjust Headlights".

Tail lights are installed too...
03-IMG_2235 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

They look decent from 5-10 feet, but I need new ones.  Budget constraints have bumped "New Tail light lenses" down on the parts list though.  I'm happy with the work we put into these back in the day.  That work was done way back when replacements were not available.  Getting new ones will give me something to look forward to later down the road.

Also on the 'Mundane Tasks' list:   Cleaning up the engine bay...
09-IMG_2254 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

My brother warned me dust would get in every nook and cranny and he was right.  "That's the gift that keeps on giving." is what he said when I told him what I was doing this evening.  We'll be cleaning up dust and over-spray for a while I suspect.

We got a couple other 'small' things done too...Removed, cleaned, and reinstalled window tracks (and windows). Cleaned up and repainted A-Pillar drip rails (scuffed up during body work), ran a couple wires to the trunk for a second amp/sub. And, a few other odds and ends.

Finally, we got the 'front' Parking brake cable installed...
08-IMG_2252 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

There is one (maybe) useful bit of info regarding this front parking brake cable...I had to research the bolt that holds it in the hole in the floor.  Mine was gone.  If you need one it's  a "9/16-18" nut. After an unsuccessful trip to two local hardware stores and one auto store,  I found a set of 6 on Amazon as PN 14973261832.  If you need one hit me up.  I paid about 2 bucks a piece for 'em!

In that pic above you can see the 'lower steering column cover' piece installed.  I learned something installing that too...
I learned that there are -TWO- different holes your Speedometer cable might use to pass through the firewall!   And, I learned that I guessed wrong when I installed my speedo cable...
06-IMG_2249 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

In the pic above you can see my speedo cable coming through the Firewall just to the left of the lower left steering column/Firewall bulkhead bolt.  THAT hole is the one for 'non-cruise control' cars.  If your car has cruise control, use the higher up hole (indicated by the marker in the pic above).   This isn't too big a deal, except that lower steering column cover/carpet retainer must be different between the cruise and non-cruise control cars? 
 So...I had to modify my lower steering column cover to cut a notch so it would fit around the cable coming through the lower hole:

07-IMG_2251 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Again, not a big deal...expect the unexpected I guess.

And the last thing I learned this week...
"Odorless charcoal lighter fluid" is good for cleaning vinyl graphics?!?!   This stuff...
05-IMG_2245 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

I know. Right?  I can confirm, it doesn't seem to hurt the vinyl.   At least not these graphics from Phoenix Graphics.  How did I figure this out?
Well...I had contacted Phoenix last week because (after a couple of washes) the bird still showed some residue from the graphic backing paper or transfer medium (whatever you call the stuff you peal off the front side of the graphic after it is installed).  There were a few spots that just wouldn't come up.  And I didn't want to scrub at it.   Phoenix Graphics suggested using odorless charcoal lighter fluid to spot clean the residue off of the vinyl.  I'm not done yet, but a small test area seems to confirm...It does remove the residue and doesn't seem to harm the graphics.   Whoda thunk?!

That's it for now.
Thanks for checking in.

Wash your hands and stay 6ft. away from anyone!

Take care.

-Tom


« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 10:46:45 PM by TATurbo »
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #591 on: March 24, 2020, 07:27:29 AM »
Looking good Tom, now I fell like a schlub, do you still need the window tool? Honestly I was planning on taking a trip up to your place this past weekend but then when they started to break bad on restrictions didn't think it was wise. I can drop it in the mail in the mail tomorrow if you still need it. Just let me know.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

RamblerRacer

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 76
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #592 on: March 24, 2020, 06:57:58 PM »
Good info and I'm glad you have the car back home.
"just keep swimming" and you'll kill the list.
I wonder if that lighter fluid is like panel prep.
I wipe the panel prep stuff and cant believe the paint will stick
It smells like rust bust

the car looks great

JT

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #593 on: March 25, 2020, 07:07:23 AM »
My son swears by lighter fluid, the kind you use in a Zippo. In fact I vaguely remember PG telling me to use that as well when I had some issues a few years back. The Zippo fluid acts like a super 'goof-off'.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #594 on: March 25, 2020, 08:23:56 PM »
I almost used Zippo fluid I already had in the house.  Both just say they use 'Petroleum Distillates' as ingredients.  But I wanted to be safe so went out and bought exactly what Phoenix suggested.  I bet the Zippo fluid works the same.

Haven't been in the garage much the past couple nights.  Our bedroom's been needing a repaint since we had to cut a bees nest out of the wall summer before last.  So, the past couple evenings I've been helping Julie to try to get that done.   

Anyway...I do have a question maybe someone has an idea for...
All three of the Idler pulleys on my car are squeaking like crazy.  I pulled them off and hosed them out, but the problem persisted.  They all appear to have sealed bearings, but I put some WD40 on there anyway.  Still squeaked.  Then I pulled them off and put some grease on around the inner hole where they spin on the studs, put them back on...still squeaking!
Is it possible I have 'em tightened down too much?  OR maybe a year in the body shop has allowed dust to get into those sealed bearings?
At this point I'm considering removing them and soaking them in a baggy with motor oil for a few days?!  I'm out of ideas and don't want to have to research and buy new ones if I can avoid it.  I've had to adjust the budget a bit with Julie out of work.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Thanks for checking in.  Take care.

-Tom
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Y88 TA

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 53
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #595 on: March 26, 2020, 05:09:30 AM »
Sounds to me like it could be the belt squeaking on the pulleys. Maybe spray the belt with water while it is running to see if it quiets down or changes pitch.

TATurbo

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 544
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #596 on: April 04, 2020, 10:47:37 PM »
I could still use that window tool Roadking...No rush...I wont have the new windows for a few weeks yet.  But if I could borrow it again that'd be helpful.

Thanks for the water tip Y88....  I took a water bottle and sprayed around.  That test seems to confirm the squeaking was coming the idler pullieys.  The two pulleys on the AC bracket responded well to soaking in motor oil for two days.   The one on the Alternator bracket is still squeaking after soaking for 1 day.  But, it's not as bad so I've decided to move on for now.  Hopefully it'll work itself out after it runs for a bit.

The past couple days in the garage were frustrating.  I felt like I was going backwards...

We ended up pulling the stereo out to troubleshoot the stereo sound problem I mentioned earlier.  After swapping amps, and pulling the head unit to check the wiring there, we figured out the problem was with the rear speakers!? Somehow, both of the Alpine SPS-619 essentially 'blew' sometime between dropping the car off for body work and getting it home.  The only thing I can think of is that the welding on that rear panel damaged them. I can't figure how both would've gone at the same time, especially when they hadn't been in use at all.   
Silver lining...The amp itself is still good, and I found a killer deal on a set of Infinity 693.11i speakers which sound way better than the Alpines did.   So, that problem is solved and the stereo sounds killer now.

Another frustration...Installing the rear window reveal trim.
 This is the original trim I took off the car a few years ago.  I was exited to get it on but a bit nervous about scratching the paint.
I Cut a little slot in the top piece to clear a satellite radio antenna, Marked/lined up the trim so that the overlap on the side pieces looked OK and snapped the first piece in place across the top.  Well, I apparently didn't measure/mark well.  So I had to pull it off again.
Getting it off A) without the proper tool and B) being super anxious about scratching the paint was a real PIA.  After about 40 minutes I got it off, slid it over a bit, snapped a couple clips back on and....DAM!  Forgot to re-cut the slot for the antenna!
Off again, cut a second slot for the antenna wire, snapped it back on and...The right side is WAY off! Where it drops down on the passenger side it was sticking out about 3/4 of an inch!?!   Like it was from another car! AND on top of that, that area is THE ONE spot where the clip peg broke off...So I had no clip to even try to scooch it over and and force it into place. 
I could see a void in the window sealant where the original clip was, so I spent about 45 minutes carefully cutting and scraping and pulling on the old sealant to get a nice even slot to install a new clip.  All of this next to my nice new paint.  UGH. 
Eventually I got an space cleared out where I could slide a new clip in there.  I filled that void with JB weld and put a clip into the void to let it set up overnight.  I was too annoyed to capture any pics of this whole ordeal.
Anyway, good 'ol JB weld seems to have saved the day again. Today I got that piece to sit down and clip onto the JB-welded clip. It sticks out a little more than I'd like.  But only about 1/8th" or so.  So I think it'll be OK. 
I did end up knicking the paint in one spot and the trim in another spot during this whole ordeal.  But all the reveal trim is now installed and looks pretty good.

Aside from those tasks we got the last of the Dynomat down on the driver side floor:
 1-IMG_2274 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

Now I just need to put all those wires back neatly (we were tracing the radio ground through there), and put all the under column panels back in place...and  re-set all the HVAC ducts we pulled to trace the radio wires.

Another annoyance...
 We discovered that the lever portion of the Left door handle (where it goes through the door to the linkage inside) is hitting the body when the handle is pulled up all the way.  Looking down at the handle you can see where it has knocked out a little clearance for itself, through the paint of course.   So, I need to pull that handle off, clearance the lever where it passes through the door, and repair the paint there.  The damage is essentially behind the handle, so once it's corrected I don't think it'll be noticeable, but still...

One win...
The weather strip installation was relatively uneventful.  A couple little annoyances, but we worked through it pretty quickly. 
 2-IMG_2276 by Tom Sherer, on Flickr

With that all the seals are in place!  Woo Hoo!

I hope to assemble the headliner tomorrow and (if all goes well) we might get the interior installed before the weekend is out!
Hopefully the next update will include pics of a completed interior!
Tom
King of Prussia, PA

1981 Turbo Trans-Am
Build thread - http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=69897.0

Maxthe222

  • Active Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 570
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #597 on: Today at 12:49:21 AM »
Did you test the weatherstripping for leaks? The T-tops sit ontop ok?
1979 T/A Y84 WS6
1979 F/A W72 WS6
1971 Formula 400 4-Speed

Nexus

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1173
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #598 on: Today at 06:52:10 AM »
I just got caught up...wow...looking great my friend.

BTW...I appreciate the work list posting because it make me aware of things that I will come across when I get to that point!
Charlie

79 Esprit but like many, it will be a T/A clone
(19 years and counting but still have her)

roadking77

  • Oracle Forum Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10002
Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #599 on: Today at 09:00:29 AM »
Tom, with luck I will be doing some work in the shop today, I will get the wrench and bring it into the house with me tonight so I can get it shipped off tomorrow. I cant work now so I have lots of spare time(not really).
Too bad with the trim, that's another weakness on these cars I think. Those are a big pia to install. I have found even more so if you don't have the correct clips.
Finished!
77 T/A - I will Call this one DONE!
79 TATA 4sp-Next Project?
79 TATA - Lost to Fire!
86 Grand Prix - Sold
85 T/A - Sold
85 Fiero - Sold
82 Firebird - Sold
'38-CZ 250
'39-BSA Gold Star
'49-Triumph 350
'52-Ariel Red Hunter
'66-BSA Lightning
'01-HD RoadKing

Re: 1981 Turbo Trans Am project
« Reply #599 on: Today at 09:00:29 AM »
You can help support TAC!

 



2020-B1-4